Robin Roberts (newscaster)

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Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts at Heart Truth 2010 cropped.jpg
Roberts in 2010
Robin René Roberts

(1960-11-23) November 23, 1960 (age 61)
Alma materSoutheastern Louisiana University
OccupationNews anchor
Years active1983–present
Partner(s)Amber Laign (2005–present)
Parent(s)Lawrence E. Roberts (father)
RelativesSally-Ann Roberts (sister)

Robin René Roberts (born November 23, 1960) is an American television broadcaster. Roberts is the anchor of ABC's Good Morning America.[1] Roberts was the first woman of color and first openly LGBTQ+ woman to host the American TV game show Jeopardy!

After growing up in Mississippi and attending Southeastern Louisiana University, Roberts was a sports anchor for local TV and radio stations. Roberts was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years (1990–2005). She became co-anchor on Good Morning America in 2005. Roberts was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. Her treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome was chronicled on the program, which earned a 2012 Peabody Award for the coverage.

Early life[edit]

Though born in Tuskegee, Alabama,[2] Roberts grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where she played basketball and tennis, among other sports. She attended Pass Christian High School and graduated as the class of 1979 salutatorian.[3] She is the daughter of Lucimarian (née Tolliver) and Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts.[4]

In a 2006 presentation to the student body at Abilene Christian University, Roberts credited her parents as cultivating the "three 'D's: Discipline, Determination, and 'De Lord.'"[5] She is the youngest of four, following siblings Sally-Ann, Lawrence, Jr. (nicknamed Butch), and Dorothy. Her father was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen.[6]


Roberts attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, graduating cum laude in 1983 with a degree in communication.[7] She followed in the footsteps of her older sister Sally-Ann Roberts, an anchor at the CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans.[8][9]

Roberts noted on the January 14, 2007, edition of Costas on the Radio that she was offered a scholarship to play basketball at Louisiana State University but thought the school was too big and impersonal after visiting the campus. On her way back to Pass Christian from that visit, she saw a road sign for Southeastern Louisiana University, stopped to visit and decided to enroll. The only scholarship left was a tennis scholarship, and she was promised that there would be a journalism scholarship by the time she would graduate. She went on to become a standout performer on the women's basketball team, ending her career as the school's third all-time leading scorer (1,446 points) and rebounder (1,034). Roberts is one of only three Lady Lions to score 1,000 career points and grab 1,000 career rebounds. During her senior season, she averaged a career-high 27.6 points per game. On February 5, 2011, Southeastern hosted a ceremony to retire Roberts's jersey, number 21.[10]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Roberts began her career in 1983 as a sports anchor and reporter for WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.[11] In 1984, she moved to WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1986, she was sports anchor and reporter for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee.[12] From 1988 to 1990 she was a sports anchor and reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta, she was also a radio host for radio station V-103.

ESPN and ABC News[edit]

Robin Roberts on the red carpet at the 81st Academy Awards

She joined ESPN as a sportscaster in February 1990, where she stayed until 2005.[13] On SportsCenter, she used the catchphrase, "Go on with your bad self!" Roberts began to work for ABC News, specifically as a featured reporter for Good Morning America in June 1995. In 2001, Roberts received the Mel Greenberg Media Award, presented by the WBCA.[14]

Roberts worked at both ESPN and Good Morning America, contributing to both programs.[when?] During that time, she served primarily as the news anchor at GMA. In 2005, Roberts was promoted to co-anchor of Good Morning America. In December 2009, Roberts was joined by George Stephanopoulos as co-anchor of GMA after Diane Sawyer left to anchor ABC World News. Under their partnership, the Roberts-Stephanopoulos team led Good Morning America back to the top of the ratings; the program became the number-one morning show again in April 2012, beating NBC's Today, which had held the top spot for the previous 16 years.[citation needed]

In the fall of 2005, Roberts anchored a series of emotional reports from the Mississippi Gulf Coast after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina; her hometown of Pass Christian was especially hard hit, with her old high school reduced to rubble. On February 22, 2009, Roberts hosted the Academy Awards preshow for ABC, and did so again in 2011. In 2010, Roberts guest starred on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, appearing in season 4, episode 10, "Can You See the Real Me?" On May 30, 2010, Roberts drove the Pace Car for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.[15]

Roberts was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Hall's class of 2012 for her contributions to and impact on the game of women's basketball through her broadcasting work and play.[16] In 2014 Roberts was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.[17]

Roberts interviews President Barack Obama for Good Morning America in the Cabinet Room of the White House, May 9, 2012

In 2014, Roberts won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.[18] Roberts was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2016.

She is the 2018 Radio Television Digital News Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.[19]

On May 19, 2018, Roberts co-anchored the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the American television actress, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

Roberts was the 2018 recipient of the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award.[20]

Roberts served as a guest host on Jeopardy! for five episodes airing July 19–23, 2021, following the death of Alex Trebek in November 2020.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Roberts is Presbyterian and a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.[22] In 2007, Roberts was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer.[23] She underwent surgery on August 3, and by January 2008 had completed eight chemotherapy treatments.[24]

In 2012, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the bone marrow.[25] Be the Match Registry, a nonprofit organization run by the National Marrow Donor Program, experienced an 1,800 percent spike in donors the day Roberts went public with her illness.[26] She took a leave from GMA to get a bone marrow transplant,[27][28] and went home in October 2012.[29] She returned to GMA on February 20, 2013.[30] Roberts received a 2012 Peabody Award for the program. The Peabody citation credits her for "allowing her network to document and build a public service campaign around her battle with rare disease" and "inspir[ing] hundreds of potential bone marrow donors to register and heighten[ing] awareness of the need for even more donors."[31] ESPN awarded its Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Roberts at the 2013 ESPYs, and the National Basketball Association awarded her the Sager Strong Award at its award ceremony on June 20, 2019.[32][33]

Roberts began a romantic relationship with massage therapist Amber Laign in 2005.[34][35][36] Though friends and co-workers had known about her same-sex relationships, Roberts publicly acknowledged her lesbian orientation for the first time in late December 2013.[37][38] In 2015, she was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the 2015 LGBT History Month.[39]

On October 10, 2018, Roberts was selected as a mentor for Disney's #DreamBigPrincess campaign.[40]

Roberts is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.


She performed as an a cappella backup singer/former member of the Barden Bellas in Pitch Perfect 2.[when?]

In 2014, she started her own production company, Rock’n Robin Productions.[41][42] Roberts, whose father was a Tuskegee Airman, executive produced and narrated the one-hour documentary Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage[43] which premiered on History on February 10, 2021.[44]

In 2015, Roberts was named an honorary Harlem Globetrotter, the tenth person to be given this award.[45]

For their first match of March 2019, the women of the United States women's national soccer team each wore a jersey with the name of a woman they were honoring on the back; Alyssa Naeher chose to honor Roberts.[46]


  • Roberts, Robin (2007). From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By (1st ed.). New York: Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-1401303334.
  • Roberts, Robin (2008). From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By. New York: Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-1401309589.
  • Roberts, Robin (2014). Everybody's Got Something. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1455578450.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Finn, Robin (August 5, 2011). "Sunday Routine/Robin Roberts: 'Law & Order', and Riverside Walks". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "She Made It". She Made It. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  3. ^ "Robin Roberts Goes Back Home", ABC News, September 21, 2005.
  4. ^ "Good Morning America's Roberts Flies in Honor of Her Tuskegee Airman Father". Tuskegee University. November 18, 2003. Archived from the original on September 4, 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  5. ^ Kilmer, Wendy (April 15, 2006). "Robin Roberts enamors ACU crowd". ACU News and Events. Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  6. ^ "Good Morning America's Roberts Flies in Honor of Her Tuskegee Airman Father". Tuskeegee University. November 18, 2003. Archived from the original on September 4, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  7. ^ "Robin Roberts takes you back to school". Good Morning America. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  8. ^ "Sally-Ann Roberts profile". New Orleans, LA: WWL-TV. Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Abernathy, Karen (July 24, 2012). "Sally-Ann on Robin Roberts: 'It's going to work out'". New Orleans, LA: WLOX-TV. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  10. ^ Abadie, Rene (January 20, 2011). "Southeastern to honor ABC-TV's Robin Roberts with jersey retirement". Southeastern Louisiana University News Release. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  11. ^ Austin College
  12. ^ WCHS ABC affiliate
  13. ^ "ABC Sports - Roberts, Robin". Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  14. ^ "Mel Greenberg Media Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Kelly, Paul (March 25, 2010). "'Good Morning America' Anchor Robin Roberts To Pace 2010 Indy 500". Indianopolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  16. ^ "Women's Basketball Hall of Fame: Class of 2012 announced during the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game" (PDF) (Profile). Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  17. ^ Robin Roberts named one of ESPNW's Impact 25, ESPN. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  18. ^ Arizona State University. "Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication". Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  19. ^ "RTDNF announces 2018 First Amendment Award honorees". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  20. ^ Broadcasters, National Association of. "NAB Awards | Past Award Recipients". National Association of Broadcasters. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  21. ^ Jensen, Erin. "Robin Roberts on why her 'Jeopardy!' hosting nerves 'felt good,' wisdom from Alex Trebek". USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  22. ^ Harris, Dan. "#113: Jeff Warren, After the '10% Happier' Road Trip". Stitcher. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  23. ^ Good Morning America July 31, 2007
  24. ^ "TV Anchor Robin Roberts Has Rare Bone Marrow Disorder". MedicineNet. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  25. ^ Robin Roberts: I'm Going to Beat This – Yahoo
  26. ^ "Robin Roberts causes 1,800% spike in donors!". Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  27. ^ "Robin Roberts Schedules Bone Marrow Transplant – Friday Is My Last Day at 'GMA'". TMZ. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  28. ^ "Robin Roberts Moves Last Day on "GMA" Before Medical Leave to Thursday". ABC News/Yahoo! News. August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  29. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (October 11, 2012). "Robin Roberts goes home from the hospital". USA Today. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  30. ^ David Hinckley (February 7, 2013). "Robin Roberts heading back to GMA on Feb. 20". Daily News. New York.
  31. ^ 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  32. ^ "ESPN gives Robin Roberts an ESPY award for courage". Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  33. ^ Roberts, Robin (June 24, 2019). "I'm ready for the NBA Awards tonight #SagerStrong @ Marina del Rey, California". @RobinRoberts. Retrieved June 25, 2019.[non-primary source needed]
  34. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (April 29, 2014). "Robin Roberts shares sweet shot of girlfriend". USA Today. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  35. ^ Hayden, Erik (December 29, 2013). "Robin Roberts Publicly Mentions Relationship With Longtime Girlfriend". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  36. ^ Clark, Cindy (December 29, 2013). "Robin Roberts reveals same-sex relationship". USA Today. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  37. ^ Duke, Alan (December 30, 2013). "'GMA' anchor Robin Roberts publicly acknowledges she's a lesbian". CNN. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  38. ^ Steinberg, Brian (December 29, 2013). "GMA's Robin Roberts Acknowledges Same-Sex Relationship In New Disclosure". Variety. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  39. ^ Malcolm Lazin (August 20, 2015). "Op-ed: Here Are the 31 Icons of 2015's Gay History Month". Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  40. ^ Roberts, Madison (October 10, 2018). "Robin Roberts Selected as Mentor for Disney's Dream Big Princess Campaign: 'It's Humbling'". People. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  41. ^ "Robin Roberts Launches Rock'n Robin Productions". ABC News. September 4, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  42. ^ "About". Rock'n Robin Productions. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  43. ^ "Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage". HISTORY. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  44. ^ MaGee, Ny (January 28, 2021). "HISTORY Channel Announces New 'Tuskegee Airmen' Documentary from Robin Roberts". eurweb. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  45. ^ "Robin Roberts Named Honorary Harlem Globetrotter; Team Announces The Great Assist Initiative and 90-Year Celebration". Harlem Globetrotters. July 29, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  46. ^ Ennis, Dawn. "Lesbian icons honored with jerseys worn by USWNT". Outsports. Retrieved March 4, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by ABC's Wide World of Sports host
Program canceled
Preceded by Good Morning America co-anchor
With: Charles Gibson (until 2006), Diane Sawyer (until 2009),
and George Stephanopoulos (since 2009)
Preceded by